Morocco’s Music: Archives to Archnet

His Majesty King Mohammed VI Paul Bowles Library of Congress Moroccan Music Collection Tangier American Legation Institute for Moroccan Studies

His Majesty King Mohammed VI
Paul Bowles Library of Congress
Moroccan Music Collection
Tangier American Legation Institute for Moroccan Studies

It was the only way I could think of to get the opus of Morocco’s traditional music, recorded in 1959 by Paul Bowles and digitized by TALIM in 2010, into the hands of King Mohammed VI: have a leather presentation case made, embossed with the TALIM logo and dedicated to His Majesty.

US Ambassador to Morocco Dwight Bush now has it, and will present it at an appropriate occasion.  Morocco’s musical heritage will have been repatriated after more than fifty years in the vaults of the Library of Congress.

We hope that this will spur the Moroccan Ministry of Culture to action, so that this music – 250 selections from all across Morocco, what Paul Bowles called “as diversified a body of music as one could find in any land west of India” – can get into the hands of Moroccans who treasure their musical heritage.

In the meantime, another avenue for the dissemination of the Bowles Moroccan music collection is being prepared by the , which will make the files available in

In the meantime, another avenue for the dissemination of the Bowles Moroccan music collection is being prepared by the Aga Khan Documentation Center in the MIT Libraries, which will make the files available in Archnet

a globally-accessible, scholarly resource focused on architecture, urbanism, environmental and landscape design, visual culture, and conservation issues in Muslim societies.

Archnet is an initiative of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture and the Aga Khan Documentation Center at MIT..  While there are still certain technical details to be ironed out before the Bowles collection is online accessible, we are thrilled that soon scholars and traditional music enthusiasts worldwide will be able to listen to the entire 72 hours of music.

Archnet already has a Legation page, and we are also working with them to make another rich archive accessible, once it’s fully digitized: the TALIM glass negative collection from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, about which we have written on TALIMblog and part of which is now displayed in our museum.

So, researchers eager to see the pictures or listen to the music: hold your horses, please be patient, and we’ll be sure to let you know when you can access the collections online.  In the meantime, do check out what Archnet already has in its extensive collections.

Gerald Loftus

About Admin

Michael is the Content Manager for Archnet, and a board member of TALIM.
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